CNC Plasma cutters, general idea and a lots of info for building them.

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13 Dec 2019 01:02 #152568 by machinedude
that's my point spot on. once you get to the thicker material that's another level of difficulty the cheap machines will falter on. the thicker the material the higher the amps needed and far less duty cycle once you enter into that level of cutting. so if you want to do any kind of production runs all those machines won't handle that kind of load.

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13 Dec 2019 01:10 - 13 Dec 2019 01:18 #152570 by rodw

machinedude wrote: if anything. everlast was the only cheaper plasma cutting with a machine torch option and i think i seen some issues with the voltage divider board on the everlast machines if i remember right?
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Yes, this is correct but ts easy to fix. The issue is the divider resistors on the board are seen as belonging to the THCAD-10 so voltages are out by a factor of 1.5. So their 16:1 divider settings becomes 24:1 which is pretty much perfect for use with Linuxcnc with no scaling resistors. eg just set the THCAD up as if its got a 24:1 divider.
Last edit: 13 Dec 2019 01:18 by rodw.

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13 Dec 2019 01:48 #152576 by tommylight
The link is suspicious but it has info related to this, so i left it there.
Those would probably die in the first half hour of doing production work, not just from that link but all of that type. Seen plenty of all kinds, taking a break after 15 to 30 minutes of non stop work.
On the other side, the Hypertherm, Thermal Dynamics, Esab, Kjellberg, and some older German made can work all day without a hitch.
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13 Dec 2019 02:47 #152579 by thefabricator03

machinedude wrote: that's my point spot on. once you get to the thicker material that's another level of difficulty the cheap machines will falter on. the thicker the material the higher the amps needed and far less duty cycle once you enter into that level of cutting. so if you want to do any kind of production runs all those machines won't handle that kind of load.


To be fair I would not expect a thousand dollar machine to do anything close to that level of production. I am sure most guys would be happy just to cut a wheel spacer.

I am sure you could get cut quality that most guys would accept from those machines. If you were only going to use it a couple times a year it does make sense. A Hypertherm or Thermal Dynamics or even Lincon machine would be superior but at a much steeper cost.

One thing that is great about those machine is that it does make getting into plasma cutting affordable for most people. If they have a positive experience for minimal outlay they may just spend the $11,000 to upgrade to a 125 PowerMax unit.
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21 Dec 2019 13:08 #152995 by The_wolf_of_walmart
This thread is a heaven sent- thank you. I don't know why it's been so hard to find some comprehensive information like this.

I'm planning my build out now and after having read through this thread(heh,) I'm wondering what the benefit of having a machine torch is and what differentiates them from a hand torch other than the fact they mount easier(?)

I'm heavily considering this plasma cutter. It seems like a pretty good deal to me but as far as I can tell, they do not make a machine torch- which seems kind of non-nonsensical for a 'CNC' plasma cutter
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21 Dec 2019 13:32 #152997 by tommylight
No difference there, but usually the hand torches are far cheaper and lower quality. Trafimet makes the same torches for machine and hand cutting, they have no difference in quality of cut.
That plasma should work, but i have no idea about the quality of anything in it.

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22 Dec 2019 08:25 #153017 by The_wolf_of_walmart
So as someone that has mill/turn capabilities- Is it a ridiculous notion to take the guts out of the OE torch and make something sturdier and more machine-torch like in shape?

I looked at the Everlast with the machine torch option that rodw mentioned but I have a really hard time justifying $400-$500 for something that doesn't really offer a practical difference, as much as it would bug me not to have it.

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22 Dec 2019 08:43 #153018 by rodw

The_wolf_of_walmart wrote: So as someone that has mill/turn capabilities- Is it a ridiculous notion to take the guts out of the OE torch and make something sturdier and more machine-torch like in shape?

I looked at the Everlast with the machine torch option that rodw mentioned but I have a really hard time justifying $400-$500 for something that doesn't really offer a practical difference, as much as it would bug me not to have it.


To be fair, the hand torch is a low duty cycle torch and machine torches have a much higher duty cycle. The one I used on the Everlast was an 80 amp one vs 50 amp hand torch. But with the Everlast, it still does not allow ohmic sensing as it does not have a shield.

Having worked my way through a three plasma cutters since I started building a CNC machine, the additional spend on a quality brand is really money well spent. I think Everlast is probably the entry level. I'm told the Tecmo PM70 works with the Everlast and allows use of Hypertherm consumables (so that gives you a shield)

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22 Dec 2019 10:40 #153021 by phillc54

The_wolf_of_walmart wrote: So as someone that has mill/turn capabilities- Is it a ridiculous notion to take the guts out of the OE torch and make something sturdier and more machine-torch like in shape.

A different torch to yours but a good example.
forum.linuxcnc.org/plasma-laser/36730-30...ch-conversion#135766
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22 Dec 2019 11:23 #153024 by The_wolf_of_walmart
Ok so it sounds like there is a difference?

After a little more digging I did find what appears to be a 3rd party(?) machine torch on Ebay that fits the Lotos power supply I linked earlier. I totally understand value of paying for quality up front, but with the reviews, price point, and option of expanding to a machine torch, it does seem to be a high-value low cost of entry option.

That being said, I have not decided on how I'll be doing initial height sensing. Reading your recent post on THCAD with ohmic sensing is the only exposure I've had to that method so I'm not sure if the Lotos route will obviate that option for me, though I am planning on using THCAD for height control. Any advice on that in the meantime will be appreciated :)

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